You have probably wondered before if that $12.99 eight foot HDMI cable your looking at in the store is worth it. Well guess what almost certainly without a doubt it is not. With the advent of the internet it is really easy to find HDMI cables for almost nothing.
Take for example this 50 Foot HDMI Cable that I bought recently that sold for $23.99. A 50 foot cable in a physical store like Walmart usually will run you well over $50+.
Yes the company you buy your cable from does matter when buying online. Generally in stores like Walmart they stock brands that don’t suck so you don’t have to worry but that is no reason for you to pay for your ignorance.
If price is not a big deal for you than think about this!
Ethernet over HDMI (Good luck finding this in Walmart)
HDMI 1.4 (In my experience the only way I can tell if a cable can do 1.4 is via an item description online not an in store box).
Generally anything over 50 feet is not sold in store (From experience).
With the advent of Ethernet over HDMI this means way less clutter. So if you want an advanced cable you will WANT to buy it online. Amazon pretty much is the go to website for things like this. Especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member you will want to take advantage of the 2 day shipping.
If you are still having doubts about buying cables online versus in store than go out, go to the store whichever it may be, and look at the cables prices. Compare those prices to the ones online and be amazed as you realize the prices online even with shipping cost beat the store prices.
VPN software is all over the internet, but so are the threats, and the answer to the main question in short is YES you should use a VPN.
A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and pretty much what their designed for is privacy, and security. If your wanting to download something that the government or another agency might not like you downloading you can use a VPN.
The way VPN works is simple. You usually download a software from a 3rd Party or use Windows built in connection tools. You login using your credentials and bam your VPN is set-up. Now your internet connection is ROUTED through the server your connected to. So all of your actions are personally hidden through what you are connected to.
This is useful for many reasons, but the main is privacy and security. Most people simple just feel like big brother is always watching them. Well he might, but who is always watching you is your ISP which in 9/10 cases in the United States will probably be Comcast (Come on Google Fiber!).
Yes if your downloading stuff you should not and Comcast catches you or your ISP than they will likely send you a warning. If you continue they will shut you down. Generally cases of online theft are not taken to court unless a company wants to make a public example of them.
Though it was recently proven that you can not take someone to court, and prove them guilty based on an IP address alone.
So if you want to start using an VPN service now (which is smart) I can recommend one.
Likely you want to enable WiFi access on your desktop or laptop without wireless adapter to eliminate the need for so many cords. Well it is good your here to learn the difference.
PCI WiFi Adapter
I’d like to start this one off by saying if your getting a wireless adapter for your laptop stop reading and just buy a USB dongle you can’t add PCI devices to a laptop.
If your wanting to add wireless to a desktop though that is a different story. PCI devices are much faster than USB devices, and can achieve much greater speeds, and allow for more stable connections. Their raw power, and ability to transfer data is much higher than a USB dongle.
While I say PCI don’t worry if all you have are PCI-E slots most if not all WiFi adapters have this port option available.
Usually these kind of adapters are best if you do a lot of bandwidth intensive task, and game a lot. Their price is not bad either considering they range from $10~$100 dollars. The more you pay the better off you are though. At $10 your probably looking at B/G wireless adapters which will max out at 54mbps which for more people is good enough, and perfectly fine for gaming or YouTube. If you need more though be ready to pay more.
Doing a quick Amazon search you can see the prices aren’t bad. PCI devices are really easy to install too. All you got to do is open the side of your computer see which slot it fits, and than identify that slot if it exist on your motherboard. These days they are usually marked on the board as well in white text. You can also look online using Google image search.
USB WiFi Adapter (Dongle)
Depending on who you go with, and what speeds your looking for these range from just a few bucks to $40+ according to Amazon. The main thing with USB Wifi Adapters is that they are convenient, pretty fast, and very portable. If your laptop’s WiFi adapter burns out a cheap USB Wifi Adapter is the best option rather than getting it repaired.
USB Adapters are great for space too. Usually people who are working on small projects with Raspberry Pi devices use these to give their devices WiFi capability.
The downside to USB WiFi adapters are signal range, and the fact they usually max out at 300mbps on the market. Anything above 300mbps starts to get expensive.
If your looking for convenience, or need a laptop WiFi replacement than get a USB WiFi adapter. If your using a desktop than I would recommend a PCI or PCI-E WiFi adapter card which are relativity cheap, and easy to install.
Wireless B vs G vs N vs AC | What’s the major difference?
Wireless standards keep evolving, and with each major evolution they get faster. So today we will look at the wireless standard itself, and review the differences in the difference modes and their speeds.
WLAN Standard 802.11
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is an organized group of engineers. They created the standard for WiFi technology which all wireless routers will follow. They called this standard 802.11. All routers at the time were built around this standard. There was no letter designation, such as “G”, “N” or “AC”. This 802.11 standard was released in 1997.
The main problem with this standard was that it was way too slow. Today’s routers are made to this standard and thus the letter designations come into play.
Lets explain a few things first. We will be starting off by talking about Wireless B, but something did come before B and that was the A standard. A was released about the same time as B, but B was cheaper thus being more popular. A devices were mainly used by businesses so you don’t really hear about it when looking for routers online (and you won’t). Wikipedia has some great information on the history of wireless standards.
802.11B – Wireless B
Routers that came with just Wireless B are not longer made though a bunch of routers still support Wireless B so you should know a little bit about it. Wireless B can support a maximum throughput rate of 11mbps. You can also use the signal with no interference up to 150 feet away. Wireless B operates on an unregulated 2.4GHz range which is bad because many home appliances operate on this frequency.
This means that home phones, and things like microwaves can actually cause interference if your router is somewhat close to these devices however if it is not too close you should be good.
It is also good to note that Wireless B can actually be regulated on Wireless G routers that allows channel selection, and supported Wireless B.
802.11G – Wireless G
The G standard was a big push forward, and supports up to 54mbps. Wireless G just like Wireless B initially was unregulated until manufacturers like Cisco’s Linksys routers started adding channel selection support thus allowing you to switch channels and reduce interference.
Wireless G is backwards compatible with Wireless B so many routers support accepting both signals at the same time. Though I am about 100% positive that none of you reading this actually have a device that only supports Wireless B, but more likely devices that run on G or N. G’s main benefit is that it is faster than Wireless B.
802.11N – Wireless N
Wireless N supports a max speed of up to 300mbps with two antennas. With an additional antenna it can reach speeds up to 450mbps, Normally though you can expect to see speeds around 130mbps or so.
Wireless N operates on 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands at the same time. N devices can operate on multiple signals. It is called MIMO (Multiple-IN – Multiple-OUT). That combined with the two to three antennas, increased signal power, and rage it is clear Wireless N is a standard you want to use for very high speed devices.
This is the next big thing as of the writing of this post. Wireless AC is out, and on the market offering speeds up to 1733mbps which is an enormous increase from Wireless N. It is also know as “5G Wi-Fi”. The standard was introduced in 2012, which is now the current standard that can be found on many newer routers. AC Routers also support Wireless N which makes them fully backwards compatible with G.
I hope this post was very informative, and helps you make a decision on what type of router you want to buy. Honestly anything from G and above suites the needs of most people unless you, and your whole family are all doing some very bandwidth intensive tasks.
If your interested in buying a new router consider an AC router. Here is a link below to an Amazon search result for AC routers.
Okay so my Comcast modem gave me such trouble with DDNS that I figured I’d write a post about it.
What I was trying to do
I was trying to set up an IP camera with a hostname address from No-IP so I could view it from outside my network. The problem is my Comcast modem had no default DDNS support, and when I did visit my IP it would not open the appropriate ports even though they were forwarded. It took awhile but I did find a permanent and correct solution.
What I did to get DDNS working
You need your OWN router for this to work.
So what I ended up doing was putting my Comcast modem into bridge mode you can do this by logging into your Comcast modem by putting http://10.0.0.1/ into your browser’s address bar.
Once you are logged in you should see something similar except the only difference is instead of Enabled your’s should be Disabled.
Note that you will need your own router because what bridge mode does is pretty much turn off the router part of your modem, and make it just a “modem” in the traditional sense which is what we want.
After you do this assuming everything went smooth you can now plug up, and turn on your router so that it can start routing your internet to the various devices you own.
Now go to Google, and type what is my IP. It should be different than the regular IP you are usually assigned with just your Comcast modem. If so everything is a success and you can now use your own router to perform all household networking functions, and your Comcast modem will be just that a modem. Not a “2-wire” or a modem-router or nothing like that just a modem.
If things are not going as expected here are some things you can try that I know will resolve your issues.
Turn OFF your:
Than turn on your Modem and wait 30 seconds.
Than turn on your Router and wait 30 seconds.
Than turn on your PC and you should have internet.
You will know your Comcast modem is in bridge mode because it will say it is so in the web interface. Also the lights on the modem box will be different. The top 3 will be solid, and the two telephone lights will be flashing. If all else fails just disable bridge mode, and try again. It can be wonky sometimes so have patience its not broke (trust me).
How to check if your own network port is working (NIC)
If you have ever wanted to check your own NIC (Network Interface Card) to see if it working than you have come to the right place!
Checking Your NIC Steps (CMD) – Windows
I only use and have a Windows machine so we will be using Command Prompt. So hit the key on your Keyboard located on the bottom left hand side that has the Windows logo on it.
Afterwards type CMD into the search, and hit enter to open Command Prompt.
After Command Prompt is open you can check your Network Interface Card using type different commands.
The first command you can type is:
If you have ever dealt with networking or running your own website I’m sure your already aware of the term localhost.
If you get a response at all than your computer’s network port is working.
If your still having trouble connecting to the internet, your router, or any other device via an Ethernet cord than you should troubleshoot those devices, and cables since you have just determined that your NIC (Network Interface Card) on your current device is in fact working.
If you DO NOT get a response using one or both of the above commands than the Network Interface Card on your machine is BAD. If you just got your computer, and it is custom built by yourself than you should double check that you have installed all the necessary drivers. Windows Update in fact is NOT a fix all solution for hardware and does not have drivers for everything.
If you simply don’t have a CD drive to put the driver CD that came with your computer or motherboard than usually you can get the drivers online from the manufacturer’s website.
In a later post I’ll go over the use of Wireshark to help further troubleshoot an entire network to help track down and identify network issues.
AMD APU’s are the latest greatest thing from AMD. They are as seen in the above image a hybrid of a CPU and a GPU. This has many benefits, and a few drawbacks. This really is a great innovation, but more so for laptops, and tablets not really desktop computers. An APU can work with an AMD Graphics card if one is installed on the same machine, and together can help each other make your applications, and games run smoother.
However once you get more into the enthusiast area where you want to start using high end cards like the AMD 290, 290X, or 295X2 than things change. At this point you would be better off having a dedicated CPU, and a dedicated GPU. If you turned on the options that allow the APU to work with your GPU and your GPU just so happens to be a high end card like the few we listed than your APU will be a major bottleneck to your performance.
Currently one of the best processors you can get from AMD that will get you tons of performance is the FX-8350 (Not an affiliate link). It is a fast eight core processor that runs at 4.0Ghz with some variation in different models.
AMD – Radeon products are known to run hotter, and use more power than Intel – Nvidia products, but you get what you pay for. AMD – Radeon products usually cost between 20%-50% less than the competition. Note that this is only an evaluation of consumer grade processors and graphics cards not commercial grade or server grade.
If you are going to settle for an APU go with the A10-7850K.
Otherwise if your going with a dedicated CPU – GPU build than choose this processor.
Both chooses are good considering they are pretty much top tier consumer grade products which by all standards are cheap as far as price is concerned, and high as far as quality is concerned. You really can’t go wrong with either one. I myself have a FX8350 with a after-market CPU cooler and I could not be happier.
My brother has an AMD A10-7850K with a stock cooler, and could not be happier though his processor with the stock cooler does run a little hot but nothing to the point that is concerning. At 100% full load the APU did reach higher temperatures than my FX8350.
So again in conclusion they are both good options, but personally I would go with the FX8350. For more news, updates, posts, and reviews check back here at http://www.md5live.com/